More Grand Juries
- Cook County prosecutors have been avoiding judges in the early stage of gun cases — opting to have grand juries approve their charges — to make sure the defendants are headed to trial, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
In a major policy shift, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez ordered her prosecutors to present felony gun-possession cases to grand juries about a month and a half ago. In the past, they typically brought those cases before judges in preliminary hearings.
Grand juries and judges can both decide if probable cause exists for a defendant to go to trial. But grand juries almost always agree with prosecutors and indict the defendant, while judges are less predictable, according to officials in the state’s attorney’s office.
The new policy sends a message to criminals that prosecutors are serious about taking gun-possession cases to trial, the officials said. Criminals don’t view the possibility of punishment in gun cases as certain or swift, they said.
You want to send a message? Look up a little thing called "Project Exile" or "FACE 5," both providing that gun crimes by prohibited persons (felons) meant 5 or more years in the Federal system, usually 1,000 miles from home, sometimes 2,000 miles away. Gun crimes dropped by almost one-third across the board - homicides, robberies, the works, in the first year alone. And both programs were (and remain) supported by the NRA and the Brady anti-gunners. You can guess who opposed it.